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Activity Streams - a demise of productivity
Chris Miller    

I really don't like the current state and implementation idea of activity streams.  There, I said it. Now I can explain more about why.

IBM made a grand showing of integrating activity streams into the Notes client with the Social Edition and the expansion in IBM Connections with OpenSocial. However, they introduced this idea well over a year ago (below image from Feb 2011) with no traction.  I believe that expanding capabilities is always a bonus for any product if it allows more adoption and usage.

Image:Activity Streams - a demise of productivity

I have been quite verbal since R1 and R2 of Lotus (now IBM) Connections about the easier inclusion of public services. Activity Streams are not what I had in mind.  I feel that they will become a distraction more than a productivity tool.

By default, all the implementations of activity streams cause users to oversubscribe.  This has happened in email lists, RSS feeds and even friends on Facebook.  Oversubscription causes you to lose focus and no longer pay attention to any part of the stream.  Look at Twitter and Facebook.  In their natural state they become fairly useless since you miss a ton of data and cannot keep up unless you only watch the stream.

Once a user is oversubscribed (think tons of time working with projects, users, communities, email and more) the only way out is stream bankruptcy. Mass unsubscription from everything.  Then the cycle repeats itself.  No productivity is gained building the subscriptions, during the over subscription, during the bankruptcy and then the restart.

The next missing piece is proper filtering tools and skills.  Look at the number of third party tools that started around public streams like Twitter.  Some, like Refynr, had to shut down the filtering due to low adoption since users are too lazy to filter.  We even podcasted about this back in 2009 on TheSocialGeeks.

Filters are far more than being able to sort hundreds or thousands of threads that have come through, full text capability found in todays databases and email are a stating point. Email will not go away anytime in our future as IT administrators, there is too much history, information and workflow built in.

Users creating the inherent ability to share everything to a stream will also not become second nature.  The intimate feel of email communication is a stop factor for many in tools like Twitter.  Keep in mind the activity stream in Facebook is forced, not something the user does consciously. User need the structure and compartmentalized approach that databases, such as email, offer to be productive.

I do applaud innovation, integration, portfolio expansion and more than IBM has undertaken.  I just don't think a full onslaught of activity streams will be easily adopted in a productive manner. Yes it is optional for everyone.  I am talking about what they showed as the current tool state to be clear.

Jan 26, 2012
89 hits

Recent Blog Posts

Vulnerability Management for Dummies - free ebook offer
Thu, Oct 23rd 2014 12:54p   Chris Miller
My readers have the opportunity to get Vulnerability Management for Dummies for free. With all the current talks of POODLE, this came along at the right time. Over 60 pages of entry level information. Vulnerability Management for Dummies covers a lot of ground quickly As someone responsible for network security within your organization, you need to understand how to prevent attacks and eliminate network weaknesses that leave your business exposed and at risk. Vulnerability Management fo [read] Keywords: network security vm

What is the PODDLE vulnerability - back to basics
Thu, Oct 23rd 2014 9:00a   Chris Miller
As we fight to fix the POODLE vulnerability in all systems, we should know what it is. POODLE stands for Padding Oracle on Downgraded Legacy Encryption . In simpler terms it exploits an older form of encryption your browser may use to communicate with servers. As long as both the server and the client (web browser) support SSL 3.0, the attacker can force a downgrade in the protocol, so even if your browser tries to use TLS, it ends up being forced to use SSL instead. The only answer is for eith [read] Keywords: connections firefox google oracle security server

IBM addresses Poodle and SHA-2 issues in new technotes
Tue, Oct 21st 2014 8:56a   Chris Miller
IBM has addressed SHA-2 support and the Poodle vulnerability for IBM Domino in new technotes that were released. Here are the links and info. Technote #1418982 titled Planned SHA-2 deliveries for IBM Domino 9.1 SHA-2 support for Domino 9.x is planned to be delivered over the next several weeks via an Interim Fix. Technote #1687167 titled How is IBM Domino impacted by the Poodle attack? IBM intends to release Domino server Interim Fixes over the next several weeks that implement TLS 1.0 with [read] Keywords: connections domino ibm traveler xpages server

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Skype 6.21.104 is consuming way too much memory
Thu, Oct 16th 2014 10:12a   Chris Miller
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What is the IBM Bridge to Cloud program?
Wed, Oct 15th 2014 9:49a   Chris Miller
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The IBM Desktop Utility for Lotus Notes Clients
Thu, Oct 2nd 2014 12:50p   Chris Miller
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Rebranding IBM SmartCloud offerings name to IBM Connections family
Wed, Sep 24th 2014 8:17a   Chris Miller
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Toilet paper should go which way? Carl and I debate
Fri, Sep 19th 2014 11:13a   Chris Miller
On our recent World Cup 2014 adventure to Brazil, Carl Tyler and myself had daily car debates we recorded. Here is the one on toilet paper direction. See our Worldcup blog for more photos and videos via the Flickr group and YouTube channel. [read] Keywords:

Wink Connected Home Hub (PWHUB-WH01) review
Wed, Sep 17th 2014 9:59a   Chris Miller
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